Authorities Order Social Isolation:
On Thursday, the Indian government ordered the Indian Premier League(IPL) to be cancelled to help combat the coronavirus pandemic after promoters said they were prepared to play in vacant stadiums to keep the tournament on track.
Cricket fraternity will meet on Saturday to determine if the Twenty20 tournament will commence on March 29, featuring some of the world’s top players.
Late Thursday, the Indian cricket board announced that the final two one-day internationals would be played between India and South Africa “without any public meeting, including spectators.” The opening match without a ball being bowled was washed out.
Central Government Recommend Cancellation Of IPL Series:
A spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs briefed the news media in New Delhi and advised the sports federations to make a wise decision regarding holding events.”Think it’s up to the organizers to determine whether or not to go ahead with it,” said Dammu Ravi, supplementary delegate, MEA, and COVID-19 coordinator. “Our recommendation will be not to do it at this time, but it’s their decision if they decide to go ahead”, said the spokesperson.
The stakes are high. It is said that the 60-game league produces more than $11 billion a year for the Indian economy and that Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has invested $330 million as the sole sponsor for 2018-2022.
“We want to launch the IPL on time even though it means without crowds,” a senior official of the BCCI told a leading Sports Website. “This could be TV-only because it’s a medical emergency and we can’t do anything about it” he added.
In addition to an increasing number of virus cases — rising to over 70 in four days — and one death, new foreign visa restrictions could shut the door on the 60-plus international stars like Australia’s David Warner and Ben Stokes from England.
According to the new health advice ministry “there is no public meeting at any sporting event.” Ticket sales have now been stopped for India’s second ODI against South Africa in Lucknow on Sunday and the final match in Kolkata on March 18.
The state government of Maharashtra has already asked the reigning champions of Mumbai Indians to pause ticket sales for the opening gala game against Chennai Super Kings arch-rivals.
Maharashtra called on the central government to direct all games that were played without fans — as some European football leagues do now. “Human life is much more important than the IPL,” said health minister Rajesh Tope of Maharashtra.
Several advocacy groups in Chennai and Mumbai have filed lawsuits at the Supreme Court and courts to stop the league.